Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash is a delicious beef stew (or soup) with tender chunks of beef and veggies in a rich paprika seasoned broth. This delicious dish is warm and comforting, perfect for a cold weather day.

Serve this over homemade noodles or with a side of bread or Biscuits to sop up any of the broth left in your bowl.

A pot of Hungarian goulash filled with beef and potatoes.

Now that it’s autumn, the only real way to stay warm is this delicious Hungarian Goulash (gulyás). Homemade goulash is a staple in our family, and could not be more comforting as the sun turns to snow!

In this easy Hungarian Goulash recipe, tender chunks of beef, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes are simmered to tender perfection in a savory beef broth. YUM!  While I most often simmer this on the stove, you can also make this easy Hungarian Goulash in the oven.  A house filled with the aromas of this stew is probably the most comforting way to say goodbye to my patio until next summer!

A white bowl of Hungarian goulash sprinkled with fresh parsley served with white bread.

What Is Goulash?

Well for starters, it is one of the most delicious comfort food that exists (it’s up there with my oldest daughter’s favorite appetizer, jalapeno popper dip). A traditional Hungarian Goulash is a soup or stew that is usually filled with root and other vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, peppers, and tomatoes.

It dates back centuries and was originally made by shepherds drying out meat to be able to store and then adding water to create a soup or stew.  Everyone seems to have their own way of making this dish and adds different veggies. Regardless, Hungarian Goulash is very different from an American Goulash Recipe which is more of a tomato, beef and macaroni dusg (and also sometimes known as American Chop Suey).

Goulash is seasoned with paprika and other fragrant spices like caraway seeds and sometimes even cajun! You will almost always find red meat in a Hungarian goulash, and because it is simmered at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time, it is the perfect way to use a cheaper cut of meat and save some money!

A scoop full of Hungarian goulash with carrots, potatoes, and tender beef.

How To Make Goulash

To make the perfect Hungarian goulash you’ll want to start with onions and beef as the base and plenty of Hungarian PaprikaFry the onions in butter until they are translucent.

Dredging the beef in flour creates a beautiful sear on the outside of the beef, which will deglaze and add a ton flavor to add to the dish (and help to thicken the broth)!

Add the beef to the pan and sear it on all sides. Next, deglaze the pan by slowly adding the beef broth to it. Once deglazed, add the tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the Hungarian goulash to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover it, and simmer it for about an hour and a half (this is where it starts to smell like heaven throughout your house).  Serve the goulash on its own or over spaetzle or spooned over Mashed Potatoes! We always serve it with bread or 30 Minute Dinner Rolls to sop up any leftover gravy.

What is Hungarian Paprika

Paprika is made from grinding up dried peppers. Peppers can range from hot to mild, so paprika will vary from region to region. In a lot of American cooking like as deviled eggs, paprika is mainly used as a garnish.

In Hungarian cooking, paprika is usually used to flavor the dish instead of a garnish. Some paprika is smoked, some may be sweet, some may be mild, and some may have a stronger flavor. In Hungarian cooking, usually a mild to sweet paprika is used.

A close up of a delicious bowl of Hungarian goulash with bread.

Hungarian goulash freezes perfectly, making it ideal to make in batches for the winter. I love quickly warming up a single serving of this goulash recipe for a quick lunch or dinner!

More Soups You’ll Love

 

Hungarian Goulash

Tender beef and potatoes in a beefy broth seasoned with paprika.

  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 pound stewing beef (trimmed and cut into 1" cubes)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. In a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Cook till translucent. Stir in caraway seeds and paprika and mix well.

  2. In a bowl, dredge the stew beef with flour. Add beef to the onion mixture and cook for about 2-3 minutes. 

  3. Slowly add about 1/4 cup of the beef broth to lift the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add remaining broth, diced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper. 

  4. Stir and bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer for about 1 1/2 -2 hours or until tender.

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